NPR reports: "As the day dawned across the U.S. on Friday, a new economic reality dawned with it: The tariffs long threatened against billions of dollars in Chinese goods took effect just at midnight ET while many Americans were sleeping — but Beijing was ready immediately with a wake-up call of its own. The new trade regulations imposed by the Trump administration, which levy a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S., have "violated [World Trade Organization] rules and launched the largest trade war in economic history to date," China's Ministry of Commerce declared in a statement Friday. And Chinese authorities quickly retaliated with equivalent tariffs on $34 billion worth of imported U.S. goods — previously promised as ranging from vehicles to soybeans, beef and other agricultural products."
USA Today reports: "The Chinese government said Friday that it "immediately" retaliated against increased U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports as President Donald Trump's administration effectively launched a trade war with its most important trading partner. China's foreign ministry in Beijing said that tit-for-tat duties on U.S. goods took effect straight away after Washington's 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods kicked in at 12:01 a.m. ET on Friday. The ministry gave few other details. Beijing had previously flagged that China would make a "necessary counterattack" if needed on a similar amount of U.S. exports including soybeans and cars."
The Washington Post comments: "The first round of U.S. tariffs on China takes effect Friday: Will July 6, 2018, turn out to be a date that lives in economic infamy, like June 17, 1930, the day President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act? By itself, Mr. Trump's opening salvo, a 25 percent tariff on 818 Chinese imports, worth $34 billion a year, amounts to a rounding error as compared with the overall size of the U.S. and Chinese economies. Moreover, it's not inherently misguided to get tough with China over its relentless mercantilism, which has long disadvantaged U.S. businesses and which more recently took the form of a "Made in China 2025" policy that seeks dominance for the People's Republic in cutting-edge technology. Alas, Mr. Trump seems fixated on tariffs as a means to a far less legitimate, far less realistic (and far more simplistic) goal: reducing the merchandise trade deficit, which was $376 billion last year, between the United States and China."